Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Hook's, Plus....

Firehole Sticks, a new hook in the arsenal. I say new hook in that it's new to me and this report on the way it's worked in certain applications is one that I think will justify my use of this brand. The hook is a barbless competition scud/pupa bend. The hook is extremely sharp, I have broken thread by just touching the point lightly. It has great fish hooking ability as well as being able to hold the fish that is hooked. There are several hooks out there that are similar and I use a few of those. The one hook brand that I consider to be the top of the line and by which I compare other brands is the Orvis Tactical hook. I'm happy to say in the short time I have used the Firehole Sticks I believe they are just about the same. One other point to make is the price. The Orvis Tactical hook retails for 9.00 for 25 hooks, and the Firehole Sticks retail at 10.00 for 50.

As you see the hook is black nickel plated, I really like that. It's carbon steel and has a nice curve that will work in many types and patterns.

Sakasa Kebari are perfect on this hook. You have seen the results of this fly in my last few posts. I have also tied a few nymphs using this hook and will post results in future posts.

The bomber tied on that same hook. It has passed the bench test and waits to be tested on the water/fish. I'm quite pleased with this hook and I'm certain you will see the results.

"Clam Cakes"....fresh chopped clams, mixed with crackers, celery, onion, parsley, cayenne pepper and melted butter. I form a patty in hand and place on baking sheet, popped into a 375 degree oven for a few minutes to firm them up then they are fried in butter until golden brown...enjoy.

Monday, August 26, 2019

A Soft Rain

I'm not a guy who like fishing in off weather. Rain and snow are not pleasant times om the water for me. I like dry days and either sun or clouds are OK. On this outing I was met with a soft rain when I reached the stream. The promise of clearing skys was not happening. I had an option of leaving or fishing so I said perhaps I'll stay and deal with it. I had a half cup of coffee still warm so I put on the radio and finished my coffee hoping the rain would stop. It did not so I dressed and headed down to the waters edge. I gazed into the run that was before me and saw the rain drops make those lovely little rings as they hit the surface. On days like this I have had success using dry flies, the calmness of the rain seems to relax the fish and they rise to take the fly. Well another theory put to bed and so alternatives were used and they were successful.

The stream bottom. A relaxed scene with colors of the stones taking on a muted look.

The brook trout looking more beautiful on this damp day.

This bee was moving up into the flower to avoid the rain or so it appeared.

The brook trout have started to take on those colors of fall. Great days are ahead my friends.

Friday, August 23, 2019

I remember and something new....

In our wanderings we like to find off the beaten path places to eat. Most time we are in search for a good breakfast. Now breakfast is not only at breakfast but there are times when we enjoy a breakfast menu in the evening. On this day we were on our way to Vermont when we saw a sign for good eats at the Whateley diner. The diner is located off of I-91 in Whateley MA. Walking up to the door you can see 1950 come back to life. Everything inside has that 50's look. There are even juke box selections right at your booth. Atmosphere is nice, but the service and food here are awesome. We had a waitress who took the time to tell us of the history of the Whateley diner which is quite a story.

The diner is clean and with glass windows almost all around it is also very bright. And the food was great.

There was a movie filmed in the diner too.

The Berkshire National Fish enjoyable and historic place to spend a few hours. Lots of trails to walk. We also had a wonderful guide for awhile who informed us of what the hatchery does. It's focus is on native cold water fish, and that is lake trout and brook trout. The lake trout are part of the Great Lakes restoration of these big fish. The brook trout are part of the local needs and is part of the Trout in the Classroom programs.

One of the several houses on the property. I love these.

A ham sandwich. I finally tried this stuff called "off the bone" ham at a local deli...two thumbs up...this ham is awesome. Lean, and tasty. A slight smoky flavor and not a lot of salt.

From the vise...Sakasa Kebari...these orange bodied flies have been working well.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"What say you"......

"The wild brook trout is one of the most colorful native freshwater fish in Connecticut. If you are fortunate to capture one of these fish, you will easily understand the nickname "Aphrodite of the Hemlocks"....Connecticut Wildlife...

There is not much more I can add to the words so simply put in the opening lines of this post. I wish everyone who has the chance to seek and catch one of natures finest creatures does so. It is truly a blessing that we have such fish swimming our streams. They are a testament to clean water and outstanding habitat. We must take care and preserve this valuable salmonid for future generations to enjoy.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Wonderful Day, Willing Brookies

Not as full as they were last year at this time they still are doing OK. Recent thunderstorms in certain areas dump lots of rain which boost the flows and make the fishing easier. I try to get out on the stream if possible after these rains and enjoy the time out there. The streams I fished in northwest CT. have had temps from 60-62. These streams flow through thick hemlock and pine forests so they tend to stay cool.

I have been fishing the Farmington for some time and it sure felt good coming home to my friends...there is nothing like fishing a small stream.

Pools, pools and more pools. In between are riffles...look to the riffles.

This little guy was impressive. Taking on color and a small very black lower jaw.

Late summer blooms.

Sometimes a picture actually shows the dorsal of the brook trout.

They liked this fly...thanks Mike.

So I think I'll take the bamboo rod and the Altoid box and find a stream today.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Brown Bugs

That simplicity thing...a hook with some brown thread and some peacock along with a feather. About as effective a fly for me in the last week or so on the Farmington. I'm not a hatch specialist and could not tell you what this emerger represents and frankly I don't really care. What I do know is that it works. The two patterns here are tied on curved hooks Sakasa Kebari style but I have a feeling they would be just as effective on a standard hook. The first fly has a wing from a grouse.

This fly uses a thorax of opossum and a feather from a hen pheasant.

This pattern is a variation of the Pheasant Tail-Partridge. 

Yvon Chouinard the founder of Patagonia and simplistic fly fisher and fly tyer  shows his way of tying the Pheasant Tail-Partridge.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Through the rain drops....

Walking from the parking area a soft rain began to fall. The sky dark and the promise of sunshine was not in the future. It was going to be one of those days where coping with rain drops would be necessary if I was to find what I was looking for. So before I made my first cast of the day I found what I was looking for and that was what you see in the first photo. The day would have been a success even though I had not brought a fish to hand.

On these late summer outings the dampness seems to highlight the beauty of the woods. I love these days more so then bright sunny days. A slow intermittent rain also puts the brookies at ease. This was seen in the fact that not one spooked while I walked along.

Wood in the stream provides so much for the trout that inhabit the tiny blue lines.

It is also a road map to finding willing brookies.

This time of year one can see some subtle changes taking place.

What a promising looking spot. Not only that I noticed a small dimple on the surface, a brookie maybe, or might it be a crease in the current.

It was both a crease and a brookie.

Time and water keep moving. The fish do the one day and gone the next.

I'm glad they were here this day, a day through the rain drops.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Mid August or so..

Out and about over the weekend checking on the waters I frequent. Found some interesting things, had a frustrating few hours fishing and realized that brook trout always seem to pick me up. The stream in the picture was flowing nicely when I visited it on Saturday. Thundershowers in certain areas seemed to dump a lot more rain than they did in other places. I took a water temp and it showed 66, which is not bad. On to selective brookies. I hear you say what the heck is he talking about. Most feel brookies are always hungry and will eat most anything they can get in their mouth. I agree but there are times when they blow that thought out of the water. Case in point was yesterday when they would not take my usual offerings, instead they were choosy and it took me a couple of hours to get it figured out.

This big fly would normally be crushed the moment it hit the water, not this day. Even my friend the "bomber" did not create a surface crease. The fly that helped me avoid the skunk was a wet fly, and that wet fly had to be a size 14.

I managed to bring these two to hand on the wet fly.

I know it's only mid August but I have my mind set on those October days when I'll be here fishing for those unique strain of brook trout...yes sir.

I want you to check out the photo below of a sea-run cutthroat trout. It was caught on a dry fly. Broad shouldered and silvery. It measured 17.5" and was taken on a 2wt rod.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Still bumming around the Farmington....

I have been poking about the Farmington these last weeks. My small streams have been given a rest. I do miss them and have been monitoring a few and I'm glad to say they are doing OK. My trips to the river have been about three hours in duration and have been very fruitful. Many hook-ups and some luckily to hand. One outing I sat along the bank and observed the goings on of life along the river. Three types of ducks, lots of geese. A fantastic flight of a mature bald eagle. A whitetail deer crossing the river, and heaps of fresh moose droppings. You don't have to catch fish to have a complete outing.

Cardinal flowers, the first sighting this year. These flowers are like brook trout in the fact that a camera can't catch the true color of these blooms.

This was a nice rainbow that took the fly in some pretty fast water. He was a fighter leaping several times before giving up.

Can you identify the fly?

Pretty nice view at 6am.

Typical Farmington brook trout.

Clear, shallow water hardly the place to find brown trout. A well drifted Partridge and Orange soft-hackle did the trick.

I think I like having the Farmington so close.